The Future of Nursing

The nursing profession has become more popular over the past decades, and the growing number of nursing graduates being licensed is evident. Apart from becoming more widespread, it is clear that the profession has changed tremendously over the past 20 years. For this reason, to stay updated with ever-changing healthcare systems, there is a necessity for nurses to evolve and adapt to changes. Notably, the 2010 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report recommend maximizing availability, accessibility, and quality through the provision of opportunities for leadership positions. It has also required all nurses to expand their roles through achieving a high level of education, as well as attaining competencies in leadership. This essay elaborates upon the impact of the future of nursing according to the IOM report.

The Impact of the IOM Report on Nursing Education

Professional development in the nursing profession is significant for nurses. The IOM report talks about the transforming practice by pointing that nurses must be in a position to fully practice their potential depending on their level of education and training (Shalala et al., 2011). Further, it discusses transforming education by stating that nurses will also need to attain excellence in a recognized system of education and training. Besides, they should also work in full partnership with doctors and other professionals in healthcare, especially in redesigning practices (IOM, 2010). In a healthcare setting, nurses ought to be knowledgeable in information management and computer skills to stay updated with the technological development within the medical field. Furthermore, the IOM report advocates higher levels of education when it comes to nursing. The nursing profession has a diverse educational pathway that, in most cases, can offer an entry-level license for nurses to practice as registered nurses. They include a baccalaureate degree, associate’s degree, and hospital-based diploma program (IOM, 2010).

There are numerous ways in which high levels of education will impact the future nursing according to the IOM report. Firstly, most competencies required to practice nursing have significantly expanded. Thus, nurses need more knowledge, especially on geriatrics, health policy, public health, leadership skills, and evidence-based practice just to mention a few. Secondly, since hospital care has become more complicated, nurses should make critical decisions related to care for frailer patients sicker, as well as work with refined and life-saving technology (Shalala et al., 2011). Thirdly, in most cases, instances, nurses will be required to play the role of primary care providers.

The Impact of the IOM Report on Nursing Practice in Primary Care

The IOM report affects nursing practice and primary care, in particular, by focusing more on the goals of promoting the well-being and the health of individuals. Even though these are two different disciplines, there is a need for nurses to integrate them together just as public health and primary care (Masters, 2014). Notably, public health offers a wide array of services to different communities and educates them on the benefits of staying healthy. On the other hand, primary care also renders medical services to those patients with chronic illnesses who need immediate medical attention. However, both public health and primary have a common goal, which is to improve people’s health. Notably, there is a necessity for public health and primary care to collaborate in efforts to enhance better results to all communities (Hamric, Hanson, Tracy, & O’Grady, 2014). For this reason, healthcare costs for patients will necessarily drop.

If I were to meet the goals of the IOM report, I would perhaps change my practice if I worked in a primary care setting. I would fully focus on the project that would integrate public health and primary care. Further, I would also work with public health centers by providing data to assist them in enhancing patient health. I would also establish free clinic health fares for the public, especially patients with chronic diseases. This would provide a form of preventive care for patients. Moreover, it would also reduce the number of doctor and hospital visits. Consequently, my major aim would be to ensure collaboration between public health and primary care.

The Impact of the IOM Report on the Nurse Role as a Leader

The IOM report states that all nurses play interdependent roles in a healthcare setting. The IOM advocates leadership styles that involve working together as full partners through collaboration and mutual respect (Finkelman, Kenner, & American Nurses Association, 2009). Notably, this style of leadership results in a better patient outcome, greater staff satisfaction, and fewer medical errors. Nurses are viewed by the public and policy makers as workers who perform tasks assigned to them by physicians. To be full partners and effective leaders, nurses need to be knowledgeable in process improvements, cost management, policy making, ethics, and care delivery models. They also need to assume leadership positions across all levels.

Strong leadership skills contribute to quality care and patient safety (IOM, 2010). Nurse leaders will need competencies and leadership skills to act as full partners with healthcare professionals and physicians. Strong leadership is essential in healthcare, especially in realizing the vision of a health system. Nurses serve as advocates for patients; therefore, when they collaborate with medical professionals, they will redesign health. Thus, all nurses must be leaders, especially in evaluation design and implementation (Finkelman et al., 2009). Consequently, the IOM requires nurses to become policy makers and leaders in healthcare.


The IOM report has impacted the nursing profession positively. The report has underlined the need for nurses to attain high levels of education. With the introduction of new technologies, nurses need to stay updated. Furthermore, nurses need education to make critical decisions in healthcare. In the nursing practice, especially the primary care and public health, nurses focus more on promoting the health and well-being of individuals. When primary care and public health collaborates, healthcare costs will necessarily drop. Eventually, nurses also play the role of leaders. The leadership helps to deliver quality care and ensure the patient safety. Nurse leaders are responsible for redesigning health, especially when they collaborate with physicians. Thus, all nurses must play the role of leaders in healthcare.


Finkelman, A. W., Kenner, C., & American Nurses Association. (2009). Teaching IOM: Implications of the Institute of Medicine reports for nursing education. Silver Spring, MD: American Nurses Association.

Hamric, A. B., Hanson, C. M., Tracy, M. F., & O’Grady, E. T. (2014). Advanced practice nursing: An integrative approach. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders.

Institute of Medicine. (2010). The future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health. Retrieved from

Masters, K. (2014). Role development in professional nursing practice. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Shalala, D., Bolton, L. B., Bleich, M. R., Brennan, T. A., Campbell, R. E., Devlin, L., & Harris, C. (2011). The future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.